Considering a career in blockchain? Making cents of cryptocurrency, tokens and a whole bunch of coins


This is a very fascinating topic for many of us. 9 out of 10 people I talk to immediately associate this with Bitcoin, investments and yes, investments scams. I assure you, there are a lot to this than just Bitcoin, investments and scams!

So, why this article today? It’s a bit of an odd choice of topic to write about given that fact that I’ve been rather focused on HR and Talent related topics.

Well, I’ve been working with a couple of startups helping them with their HR/ Talent function, and let me assure you, hiring in the space is a lot more difficult that anyone of us could had imagined.

Take the difficulties of attracting talents to a startup and compound it with the complexities of how these startups are funded. IPOs are so last decade, these firms are looking at doing their own “ICO”, and “STO”. It’s like a scene out of HBO’s series “Silicon Valley” where Gilfoyle proposed an ICO when their plan for a series B kaput!

This is all so fun! Now, try explaining all that to a candidate that’s hearing this this for the first time! I assure you, it will be a long discussion.

What should you do if you’re presented with an opportunity in this space? Do you need to have the risk taking quotient of Indiana Jones to embark on a career in blockchain?

My answer to that is a simple, “Keep your options open. Explore and get more details. Talk to folks that you trust to help guide your decision.”.

You probably heard they saying “Not all that glitter is gold”, but I would say “it doesn’t hurt to check it out to see if it’s not”. While I may had some early engagements with clients that are in this space, and probably understands a little of the industry, I must say, I’m still constantly learning about how this would change the world we’re in.

Just last week, I was privileged to have the opportunity to attend Huobi’s “Elites Fireside Workshop” and meeting some of the smartest folks in this space. (Thanks Kelly Liu, Global User Growth Director, Huobi Group for hosting me).

Here’s some of my observations on how the industry’s evolving.

It’s not just about the investment

While there were a lot of talks about how you would make money trading the tokens/ coins. Yes, cryptocurrency’s also starting to gain popularity as an asset class which some savvy investors had already parked their money in. This is definitely a strong driving force in crypto making mainstream.

Utility vs. Security

This was something that I didn’t really pay much attention to as I took a broad assumption on companies doing an ICO/ STO with the intention of raising funds. I did feel a little foolish after talking to one of the panelists, that I fail to differentiate the between the 2. There’s enough article out there on this, so I’m not going to elaborate on this topic, but it will be interesting to see how the industry evolves and how the nature of the tokens may diverge or converge with clearer legislation. I’ve also realized that as a candidate joining a company that’s embarking on their ICO/ STO, you would be able to gain better insights into their business model and profit share if you managed to get a good understanding in this regard.

The platforms and the exchanges

For me, this is the most fascinating space. Standalone the tokens and coins have limited application and value. However, the ability to trade and move these tokens and coins around makes it a whole lot more attractive. This would also allow you to cash out, take profits or whatever you want to call it. As a candidate, if you’re considering an offer with part of your package in tokens/ coins, you should look at the mechanism on how you can cash out on your digital assets!

A not so bold prediction

Maybe not so bold as there are glimpse of this happening already. On May 22, 2010, a programmer purchased two large Papa John’s pizzas for 10,000 bitcoins, which is worth about US $30 at the time. At its high, bitcoin went up to a whopping $19,783.06, and at time of writing, it’s worth $5,468 and some cents. Just imagine if you’ve had sold some pizzas for 10,000 coins and left it sitting there all this time. With the increasing adoption of cryptocurrencies and the availability of payment gateways, I believe there will be wider acceptance and uses. The question for us today as a candidate and myself as a service provider, are we ready to accept cryptocurrencies as a form of payment?

While you ponder the question and I am sure more and more jobs will open up in this industry and when that opportunity comes knocking, I hope you will have an answer.

For me? It’s an easy decision. So, let me put this out there. For my existing clients and potential clients to be (especially the new start-ups that’s looking to do your own ICO/ STO), I am open to taking payments in coins/ tokens. Talk to me about how this can be done, and we’ll figure it out.

So, for all those new start ups who’s doing your own ICO/ STO, talk to me about a coin payment option. As long as your ICO/ STO is backed by a sound business/ project plan, we’ve got a deal.

As a disclaimer, I think I’ve just scratched the surface with this article, and I may had just embarrassed myself publicly for my lack of depth in this subject matter. For that, I would apologies, continue to learn and keep writing. 🙂

Do share your thoughts and comments on this topic!

Happy Monday and have a fantastic week ahead!

Eric Wong is the Managing Consultant from The Talent Shark and the CHRO forIntel Wise. His experience spans across the various human resource functions such as HR Information Systems, Business Partnering and Talent Management. Eric currently sits on the Advisory Board of the Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS). Connect with him on Linkedin or follow him on Twitter @ErickyWong.

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